Nocturnal Activities

I was awake at 6:15 this morning. Normally, Ms. Williamson in a state of conscious thought would be no novelty. In fact, on a weekday, if I weren’t up by 6:15 there would be serious cause for worry. Fortunately, last night wasn’t a weeknight, or I’d have been fucked. I climbed into my soft, happy bed circa 6:10 after a quite wonderful night out on the town.

Yesterday began pretty abysmally, with a standardized test. In order to be a “highly qualified” teacher, I had to take a General Knowledge exam from the state of Florida. Technically, this was supposed to have been completed at the end of my first year of teaching. Whatever, man, they can’t *afford* to fire me. Nevertheless (note competent use of transitional phrase here, a la FCAT) I decided to comply with the district’s regulations about qualifying me to be a public school teacher. Waking up at 7:00 on a Saturady wasn’t exactly my first choice of activities, but what I didn’t know then was that school would be cancelled for two more days, making the sacrifice of my Saturday less than a hardship.

After a wretched three hours of mindless testing (AKA the pseudo-FCAT-for-teachers), I was starving, freezing, and very tired. I gobbled down some Publix sushi, attempted and failed to read my book. My intellectual needs then conceded defeat to my corporeal desires, and I proceeded to sleep for a good four hours. There was a rancid air surrounding my mood all of yesterday: I was pissed that it was Dave’s birthday and I didn’t get to spend it with him; I had to take some stupid test; there was a huge-ass storm on the way being fickle and unpredictable, and absolutely nothing I could do about any of these things.

When VA came and woke me up at 6:00, I frankly remarked “I’m in a foul mood; fair warning.” Things slightly improved as she convinced me to trek north to DSW. As the sun sank down, my spirits rose with the help of an iced coffee and some teal velvet pumps. Then, deciding to participate in the DDH birthday spirit, I bought him a present. The funk finally left when we got around to eating at 9:30. C. joined us, and we stretched our “light snack” into a 2 hour dinner.

For some reason, I also let myself be convinced to make an appearance at Tobacco Road for Heimy’s dad’s birthday. Slightly surreal to be at a bar with TFA-ers and someone’s parents, but fun enough. Some light Spanish rock, and several strange late 90’s covers to pass the time, and then the party migrated outside. Caught up in the moment, I hopped in one of three cars heading east to Purdy Lounge, and ended up there for the remainder of the evening. There’s nothing like a good DJ who knows his crowd: a little old school and a little new school hip hop to keep the twentysomethings out on the dance floor. It felt strangely familiar to be out in a club with a group of friends; I clearly wasn’t there to pick up guys or be hit on by strange sketchy anonymous men. There were non-sketchy teacher boys to protect me from unwanted advances, and girlfriends’ budding flirtations to entertain my need for vicarious romance.

No longer even remotely tipsy from the two beers I had way back at T. Road, I felt a strange euphoria when we arrived back at dPlace circa 5:30 am. There were hints of freshman year “I have all the fun I need to sober,” but also vestiges of “I’m lonely and needing male attention so I’ll just be a little flirty” from, well, every other year =). The bizarre high that comes from being in a club having fun was messing with my head, along with my irregular sleep patterns from the days before, so I couldn’t sleep.

Instead, I attempted to pinpoint just where this vague feeling of familiarity was coming from. One not-so-subtle source came to me by way of my garments. Randomly (or perhaps subconsciously) I had chosen the same white Zara shirt featured in the “Picture With the Biggest Smile Ever” from a long, long, May night in Madrid. A little gazing at said picture was enough to both bring another, smaller smile to my face and remind my self to turn the page and put the album away. It’s best not to romanticize events that waft in from the past; I need to remind myself that I spent the end of *that* night sobbing into my journal, alone in a one-bed hostel. For other less obvious reasons, my night out also reminded me of Venice, so I took a little trek down a few memory canals, alternately wistful and chagrined.

Thoroughly temporally disoriented, and as Ani says “lost in the folds of my memory,” I happened to glance at the clock to see 5:58 glowing placidly back at me. Since my hair still reeked of smoke and other bar smells, I hopped in the shower to rid myself of the residue of the evening. If only I could have done the same with the inside of my head. Confused but happy, I at last fell into bed around the time I would normally awake for work.

I’m still not quite on a normal sleeping pattern due to a leisurely wakeup time today, but I’ve got a few more days to get back on track. Speaking of tracking, I should get up early to see what Wilma’s going to do to South Florida. It’s a little bit exciting, but I’m worried that this one’s for real.


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